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Karachi Goan Association Hall, Karachi

The roads that crisscross the area where the Karachi Goan Association Hall is located near the Karachi Grammar School never dose off. Traffic is so frenzied in the Saddar area that you wish you were Superman so that you could float over the countless buses, rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles to reach the KGA building without getting maddened by it.

The tiny board on one side of the entrance reads, ‘KGA 93 Depot Lines Karachi, For Members Only.’ The moment you get into the premises, you are overawed by the structure. Before doing that, it would do you no harm if you read the instruction ‘Private Club, Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted’.

Entering the lounge while gently treading across the Belgian tiled floor will take you to a casual but decent setting. It is a spacious room on top of whose walls pictures of all the presidents of the association are put up, five of whom are alive. It speaks of the sense of respect that the association has for its members. There is also a sculpted figure of C.F. D’Abreo, who was president of the KGA from 1911 to 1920.

The Goa-Portuguese Hall has a pedimented centre with hipped roofs and dormers. Semicircular window openings (dormers have circular ones) and beautiful pilasters highlight its English Renaissance style.

“There are old buildings here that represent communities of different religious persuasions. Here you will find churches and mosques made many years ago. The hall was built at a time when the city was known for its tolerance, a precious commodity these days.”

[Source: Karachi Legacies of Empires by Peerzada Salman]

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